Monday, September 21, 2020

BMD still holding position of UDC Chief whip despite expulsion

By Calistus Bosaletswe

Kgatleng East Member of Parliament Gilbert Mangole who is a member of the  embattled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) which was lately expelled from Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)  still holds the powerful position of  opposition whip.

This is despite a public pronouncement by UDC that the BMD has been expelled from opposition coalition bloc.

It has since emerged that the Speaker of the national assembly still treats BMD as part of the UDC.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Acting Speaker said he has not yet been informed about UDC’s decision to expel the BMD from UDC.

BMD was expelled from UDC more than a month ago after it was accused of refusing to forego some of the constituencies that were allocated it.

Following the expulsion from the UDC, the BMD threatened to take the UDC to court since they felt that the decision that was taken to expel them from UDC was unconstitutional.

Mangole who is also the BMD Secretary General Gilbert was the one who revealed that they intended to take the matter to court. The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Kagiso Molatlhegi indicated that though they could have been changes outside Parliament there were no changes regarding the position of opposition chief whip.

He said that usually if there are changes the speaker is notified through a letter, but parliament has not received such a letter. Molatlhegi explained that currently the opposition whip is from UDC.

“UDC should write to us telling us that there are some changes, but for now things remain as they are since we have main opposition which is the UDC,” added Molatlhegi.

Efforts to get a comment from UDC, spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa were futile as his phone rang unanswered.

Mangole’s bone of contention is that the UDC’s decision to expel the BMD is invalid since the constitution that was used to suspend them disqualify BCP who were part of the decision to suspend and expel them.

BMD suspension came after BMD and BCP Presidents Sidney Pilane and Dumelang Saleshando respectively clashed  on social media. The two presidents have once threatened each other on a whatsapp group before the BMD was expelled.

Sources closed to The Telegraph have indicated that BMD has not taken the issue lightly. They  indicated that the party intends to fight for the UDC brand in court.

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